Effect of level of concentrate feeding on the performance of Bunaji bulls grazing natural range
Twenty Bunaji bulls averaging 178.5kg live weight were blocked by weight and randomly allotted to four treatments (5 bulls per treatment) to determine the level of concentrate feeding on the performance of bulls grazing natural range and the practicability of fattening on range. The treatments consisted of four levels of concentrate feeding, i.e 0, 2, 3 and 4 kg/head/day. The concentrate was compounded as 60% maize offal and 40% cotton seed cake with a crude protein level of 17.6%. The trial lasted 105 days. Criteria investigated were live weight gain and body condition score of the animals, dry matter yield and nitrogen content of the forage from range grazed by the animals. Bulls receiving 4 kg/head/day (treatment 4) had the highest average daily gain (0.70kg/head/day). This was different (P<0.05) from treatments 1 (0.36kg/head/day) and 2 (0.46kg/head/day) but similar to treatment 3 (0.50kg/head/day). Though there was no significant difference (P>0.05) in body condition score (BCS) between the treatments, bulls not given concentrate feeding (0 level) had the least BCS. There was no marked difference between DM yield of the forage grazed during the sampling period. However, there was a decline in DM yield in the later part of the trial. It is concluded from this study that bulls can be fattened on range with minimum supplementation. It is therefore recommended that bulls being fattened on range be given a minimum of 2kg/head/day of concentrate supplementation.
Keywords: Bunaji, live weight, condition score